11th May 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Warsaw, in the Imperial Russian Empire (now in Poland) – Haroun Tazieff, son a Tatar Doctor and a Jewish Chemist, – volcanologist and explorer.


World Affairs: In the East African Nyasaland Protectorate (now Malawi) the people are blessed with a new flag, combining the (new) Coat of Arms of Nyasaland with the Government Ensign of the United Kingdom.


Transportation: The city of Riga in the Imperial Russian Empire (now in Latvia) officlally celebrates the opening of a new railway bridge across the river Daugava.


High Society: The King and Queen of Denmark are visiting the Royal Opera House in London for a state performance of the opera La Boheme, in their honour.


15th October 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: In Riga (at that time part of Russia, but dominated by German speakers; taken by the Germans in 1917 and retained as part of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; independent Latvia between the two world wars; annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940; recaptured by Germany in 1941; retaken by the Red Army in 1944 and part of the Soviet bloc; currently independent again since 1991) – Wolfgang Luth, U-boat Captain, shot dead in 1945 by a sentry (acting on Luth’s previous orders) after the Captain failed to give the proper pass-word.


Accidents and disasters: A rail accident in the St James’ area of Liverpool, England, kills 6 and injures 63 others.

As this week racks up its third tragedy, following the loss of the SS Volturno (130 lives) last Wednesday, and the explosion at the Senghenydd colliery (440 lives) yesterday, it is becoming known as “Black Week”.



World Affairs: In South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi begins his march from his farm at Phoenix, near Durban, to the Natal border with the Transvaal, with the intention to cross the border illegally in support of rights for Indians in South Africa. With subsequent and surprising support from no less a figure than Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India, Ghandi’s reputation as an international figure will be established.


High Society: At St James’s Palace, London –  Princess Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise, second Duchess of Fife and great granddaughter of Queen Victoria marries Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert of Connaught and Strathearn, grandson of Queen Victoria.